General Tips and Tricks for Square D Bus Duct Installation

Square D Bus Ducts

Bus Ducts, also known as busways, are constructed of a sheet of metal with copper or aluminum as the busbar. The primary purpose of a bus duct is to conduct electrical currents.

Square D manufactures a type of bus duct. The company, part of the multinational conglomerate Schneider Electric, originated in 1902 as the Detroit Fuse and Manufacturing Company. Today, Square D manufactures everything from electrical switches to bus ducts.

Correct bus duct installation and assembly for Square D can ensure trouble-free service and save you costly downtime.

Importance of a Proper Bus Duct Installation

Bus ducts are essential for ensuring an electrical system functions correctly. Since bus ducts are commonly used to distribute power throughout electrical systems, problems involving bus ducts can result in costly delays and expensive downtime. This problem can be avoided by using proper installation techniques.

The Right Ampacit

Ampacity is the maximum amount of electrical current that a device can withstand without being damaged. You can determine a bus duct’s ampacity ratings by using the temperature of its operating environment and referencing the standard chart for temperature assumptions.

After the operating temperature has been found, also consider the temperature rise of the bus duct from zero current to full current loads. For example, Square D bus ducts with copper insides usually have current ratings of 2,000 amps per square inch. As a result of the rating, the temperature increases and the voltage drops.

Adding Protection

Like with all installations, location is one of the most important aspects to consider. Most bus ducts installation are immediately downstream from the transformers and upstream from the primary overcurrent device. The device protecting the transformer cannot protect the bus duct from electrical faults.

You may consider adding extra protection to the bus duct to eliminate potential downtimes. Not only will this save you from paying for costly downtimes, but you also gain peace-of-mind, since you know your bus duct will function correctly.

Outdoor Installations

Sometimes you may need to install a bus duct outside. You can protect the bus duct from the outdoor elements with the help of a shelter. Make sure to choose a shelter that sheds rainwater instead of allowing it to pool over the ceiling, so you don’t short out the bus duct.

When installing your bus duct in an area with lots of humidity, consider adding protection to prevent rust from forming on the inside and outside. The simplest way to protect against rust is to use stainless steel or some other material that inhibits corrosion. Apply an epoxy primer or paint to the housing metal, which helps prevent the oxidation of the metal.

Wall Installations

When installing the bus duct through an outside wall, you must take special precautions. Use flame-retardant wall fittings that are also waterproof and vapor-resistant.

You may also require supports for your bus duct system where it enters the wall. Do this by adding a structural wall flange to hold the weight. Use the right material, such as stainless steel, for the flange to withstand tough outdoor conditions and inhibit the formation of rust.

The Right Materials

Choosing the correct materials for the bus duct joints and terminations can prevent metal oxidation. For example, copper bus ducts should have silver-plated joints and terminations, while aluminum bus ducts should have tin-plated joints and terminations. This is to ensure the copper, and the aluminum bus ducts will not act as a sacrificial anode, and corrode first.

Apply a layer of antioxidant compound before assembly to prevent the bus duct from corroding, if you must mix the two metals together.

Use Assembly Kits 

When you purchase bus ducts from a manufacturer like Square D, they will often come with hardware kits to use for assembly. These kits will have bolts, nuts, flat washers and locking devices included in them.

Make sure to take full advantage of these kits to save yourself from the extra work required to choose the right third-party hardware. These assembly hardware kits will also have instructions you can follow to prevent permanent damage to the bus duct system.

Final Thoughts

It is important to have the correct installation of Square D bus ducts, so the system can function correctly and without costly downtime. Add protection to the bus ducts to prevent corrosion and to protect it from harsh outdoor elements. Use the assembly kits from the bus duct manufacturer to ensure you’re using the right materials for your bus duct assembly.